8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (NRSVACE)
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I say to you… I hear your voices, your many pleas for things I cannot provide you. Instead, I offer these words of wisdom: In times when our lives spiral out of control or when people with power over us decide to do ungodly things or when rudeness through favoritism overcomes that special place in associates hearts; know your place and stifle your frustrations, choosing instead to do what is good. For what will come from a confrontation when the other person or members of a group have already twisted your words or have bore falsely against you? For I say to you if they have done it once what is stopping them from doing again? Instead, let the love of goodness overtake you and give your frustrations to God. Therefore, goodness in your hearts will be preserved in the eyes of our Saviour, our actions will then have confirmed the sacrifice of the cross.
A wise man once offered this prayer; “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Remember my brothers and sisters in Christ, that when walking with God you have serenity, love, peace, forgiveness, absolution, from God; therefore you are blessed and made holy. Let not temptation bring you down by allowing your mind to be filled with the many things you would like to change but have not the power to make happen. Let not your heart be deceived by the actions of a few who would lead you to ruin. Instead, make preparations for only those things you have the power to change, and when you take action let those choices be filled with goodness done for the sake of holiness only. Fill your heart with courage to make the tough choices, to take action on them, to carry out fully the goodness of the needed change. Forget not to pray to our Lord in Heaven, asking Him alone for the path which you must follow and be confident that God will give you the wisdom to tell the difference between what you can and cannot change.
6 “For wisdom is a kindly spirit, but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words; because God is witness of their inmost feelings, and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues.” ~ Wisdom 1:6 (NRSVACE)
Thus, my brothers and sisters in Christ, your obligations have also been given to you through the Holy Spirit which loves kindness and who is gentle to the people of God. Stay away from those who curse the Lord, those who have filled their hearts with hypocrisy, walk away from the blasphemers for all these individuals will be judged accordingly. Rest assured the twisted words and actions will come calling upon them and for the holy – such as you – my brothers and sisters, for you surely do not want to see this judgment when it comes. Hence walk away and be confident in the power and uprightness of our God. Know there will always be those who profess to be Christian and thus dwell among you the faithful flock of God yet they are truly sent by Satan to do the work of evil; be aware of whom you speak to, befriend only those you can trust and have professed their faith in public. For God hears all, sees all, knows all, and will give you the rights to make only the changes which he wills to be changed that which fits within His overall plan for your life. Therefore, you have heard it said,
14 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.’ ~ John 14:1(NRSVACE)
11 “‘Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” ~ Leviticus 19:11
When confronted with this word, I think deep down inside we all want to be honest, but yet we are still very much intimidated by it. Honesty carries with it some very rigorous implications, like a two edged sword that could just as easily cut the wielder as the opponent. As imperfect human-beings this word, “HONESTY” scares us just a little because we all know this is the ideal we sinners can never live up too. For the majority of people however, this ideal is very much ever-present in our minds, hearts, and souls as it is the one aspiration which can revolutionize how we think, feel, and operate on a daily basis and again that notion is a bit scary. So, with this firmly stated and excepted as the truth, no one is perfect, thus when we reflect upon this word there should be no one who takes offense of the remainder of this blog. Rather when reading the contents I ask that you reflect deeply upon your own life and experiences and ask yourself how honest have you truly been to your loved ones, friends, and of course yourself? How honest have you been with God? Also as a disclaimer I want everyone to know I am not perfect and I too struggle with this word everyday. But it also should be known that when we are not honest we are breaking a covenant with God, as mentioned above, God did ordain it to be so for all mankind to be honest with each other, to not steal lie, or deceive. Because when we are not honest with one another then we separate ourselves just that much more from Him. We destroy what should have been and allow an abomination to take its place.
35 “You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.” ~Leviticus 19:35
It’s interesting that God chose the word, “INJUSTICE”, when warning us about our sense of judgement. I feel He saw our civilization coming and knew we would be a people of great laws, and even greater hypocrisy and corruption within those laws. I think He knew we could not live up to the ideal He set forth so we would try and replace His perfect laws with ones of our own, ones less perfect in nature more befitting mankind. Laws riddled with loopholes that would allow Judges from all branches of our Justice System to skip happily through rules they feel strongly about but while ignoring the words “Shall Do”, ignoring the laws in-favor of making a point or changing how people perceive specific guidelines and policies. I think God saw our lawyers who argue their cases based upon lies and misdirection, never caring who they hurt but instead whether or not they win their case. Justice goes hand in hand with ethics, but our civilization too is so far removed from this our most honest of men sit and let immoral people change the definitions of words like, “Marriage” to include two people of the same sex, which again is clearly an abomination to God. I am still waiting for people to protest scenes in our T.V. shows who have snuck in under the radar that depict two men kissing, or two women making out. For these perverse things our children are being desensitized too and will someday be voting adults. This is how perversion is first spread and rots out the core of a nation. The older I get the more my students become accepting and down right argumentative to what it means to them to be married, what it means to not have pre-marital sex, and even more shocking how they feel violence is acceptable behavior when someone disagrees with them. But, this of course is the final result of our long lived policies of stripping our public schools from saying prayers in their classrooms, prohibiting our children to engage in their faith on public property and to keep our children from having pride in our country by abolishing the national anthem in school for the fear it might hurt a specific groups sensibilities. It’s interesting how far we have slid since those policies where adopted over thirty years ago, and I must now stand up and forewarn you all that God will turn His back on us as surely as we have turned our backs on Him. Our judgments on issues of morality are the cause to our grief as a country, because they are filled with injustice of both measure, weight, and volume. The days of honesty in Government is over, honesty in our courts is over, honesty in our media has become a thing of the past as well.
17 “Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am theLord your God.” ~ Leviticus 25:17
Ironically, the injustice in our country is primarily a symptom of our rotting souls as we seek to oppress instead of find common ground and common respect. Our fear of God sadly too has become a thing of the past as to many of our evangelists preach about a loving, tender, forgiving God that is no-longer vengeful, no longer judgmental, or temperamental as found in the Old Testament. To many feel what was then does not apply to us today, thus removing ourselves from under the harder aspects of what God really expects from us as His people. At this juncture I would like to point out the only being that which was the same a million years ago is still unchanged and perfect. Therefore, God is unchanged since the beginning and His views, wants, desires, hopes, and aspirations for mankind is also unchanged. We have become spiritually soft and I would hazard a guess this is because no one or collective group of thousands or tens of thousands of people all in unison have not heard from God lately. To even admit you hear God’s voice in your heart and mind in today’s world is looked at as strange. But, yet two men or women kissing each other isn’t strange? This perversion is truly the hallmark of the days Jesus predicted would come. Oppression is found in every avenue of our great society from how we oppress men’s and fathers rights, to how we oppress other people from other countries when their land holds something of value we prize and want to control it based upon the, “Holy Grail”, of excuses called “National Security”. We oppress people with our hypocritical view of the 1%ers to how we tax those who can no-longer pay taxes nor catchup in what they owe because of the meager wages they earn. Again, we have forgotten honesty, integrity, and hard-work and have replaced it with a dollar sign and loophole in the tax code called shelters. Who would have ever thought our money would need a shelter?
HONESTY VRS THE FALSE BALANCE
11 “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.” ~ Proverbs 11:1
All the above indeed has caused a false balance, one so greatly exacerbated that our very economic system will implode its just a matter of when. Largely this problem of economics is based upon a decision made when our country was still very young and it was made through weakness of the President of the time and Greed from the banking institutions. This of course of which I speak gave rise to the modern money system we enjoy today, one based upon credit and interest. A system we force feed the rest of the world and yet we are surprised upon the eve of its failure of why the world hates us? I say what a short memory we have and what a wonderful ability to spin the truth we have developed. A false balance created through lies, manipulation, and dishonest behavior. As with our nation so too many people around the world have fallen into this greed and sin as their personal lives spin out of control spiraling downward from the lavish spending and while spouting aloud that this looming doom will never happen, turning a blind eye to the obvious as well as turning a blind eye to God. Simple truth is when we as mortals feel we are more powerful than the most powerful being in existence. When we examine this in full detail it seems to me to be something seriously wrong with how we view ourselves, and how unbalanced we have as people, as well as, a nation have we become.
27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~ Proverbs 3:27
Again “HONESTY” is the ability to recognize the truth, to tell the truth even when it is not in ones best interest, and it is our obligation as believers to keep our brethren from lying, cheating, and stealing from others. But the sin which is greater than the total sum is when a person in their own heart and mind willfully ignores the truth, ignores honesty, and withholds an honest man his due. In this any victory is hollow, any triumph is rendered meaningless, and all effort to that end have thus become futile. When we are given the opportunity to tell the truth and we ignore that obligation we then are turning our backs on what God wants, we thus change the circumstances to fit our own personal wants, stopping what was supposed to come into fruition and instead allowing an abomination. Everyone of us is guilty of everything thus far mentioned, but some of us more so than others. It is a hard reality when we wake and see ourselves in such a stark light, but nevertheless something we all must eventually do if we want God’s grace to shine upon us.
8 “Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with injustice.” ~Proverbs 16:8
Profit over righteousness? This has become the true question. Who should we be loyal to? Which master will be more forgiving in the end? Which side should we be on in these days of such turmoil? Jesus professed there would be such days where we would be blinded to what was real, man would sircome to evil and nations would crumble and fall because of their greed. The depiction of the end by John of Patmos is truly horrifying to say the least, but how much more bizarre and alarming was it to the disciples when Jesus spoke of those days. In fact Jesus was more in line with the idea that even the smallest amount of righteousness was better than none. It’s funny how people of those times mirrored those of us today who still clammer and bicker about who should or should not, ignoring that it would be righteous to find peace and accomplish the task together for the benefit of all. Both time periods are largely incased in vast greed, and the pursuit of happiness and truth through money and possessions again something Jesus emphatically instructed not to do. I would hazard a guess that Jesus was talking to them and us and our children, and all people until His glorious return.
THE CHALLENGE OF HONESTY
9 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 andhave put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” ~ Colossians 3:9-10
Therefore, in what has been thus written a collection of mankind’s collective sins against God. Here before everyone of us is the sin of dishonesty and the challenge to reverse or at least atone for our ignorance. For God has so declared for all mankind to be honest, to not lie, to not steal, to not manipulate, and to never pervert the truth in anyway. God commanded us to not bare falsely against thy neighbor and to love one another as you love yourself. The challenge before all of us as sinners is to change and be more honest with God, with ourselves, and with our loved ones. To cast off our old sinful ways, and cling to our new more incorruptible selves. The challenge of honesty is real, it is ever present, it does not ever go away, and it above all it is absolutely, brutally honest. As I have stated before, a lie is a lie and will always be a lie, but the truth is the most honest things we could ever possess in this life. It is the ideal we should all strive for, we should all help each other stay devoted too, and it is that goal we can taste but never truly own.
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“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV Bible
This past couple of weeks I have been reminded of how much Jesus loved us. How He alone showed perfect absolute love no matter the situation that He faced. God’s love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the most absolute description to date of God’s perfect love. If you read it completely and then ask yourself where you stack up in your daily life using these standards I am sure you will find that your actions or words to others are no match for this description above. “23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23 NIV Bible
However, don’t get to discouraged just yet, no one is perfect as we are all flawed and filled with sin, that is why God’s love is so perfect because it has to be for our Lord to love us so. It is no ascendent that this description begins with love being patient, because how patient is God when dealing with humanity? How patient has God been in dealing with Satan?
There have been a few people over the years as I have been writing and maintaining this specific website and blog who have not been patient, and have been fast to judge me, to presume they know me, who cannot put down their own personal demons, and sadly who are fast to make inaccurate accusations, and then pretend they can judge this body of work I have published here in. All I can say to this is simply the word “patient” implies long suffering, tolerance, and as described by the Webster Dictionary in English; “1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are not patient or kind.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23 NIV Bible
As an educator in dealing with children with different learning aptitudes the temptation is always there to be short or curt with those who ask the same question over, and over, and over, or those who ask a question to which in the start of the lesson I had already answered. Moreover, in this I will say patients must be connected to kindness so the love can shine through. In this situation each teacher has a coping mechanism and mine is simple, I smile underneath the frustration and remind myself by saying in my mind, “You just gotta love’m.” This always brings me to Jesus who exhibited both patience and kindness to everyone most especially his disciples. How many times did Jesus repeat himself in the bible, how many lessons did He teach to the masses then reenforce to His disciples? How many ways did Jesus repeat His message of love to His disciples? In all the ways we can possibly count in the bible of God’s kindness we can also correlate the idea that love is about genuinely being kind to your fellow man. Again in the Merriam Webster Dictionary in English kindness is described as being, “2a : the quality or state of being kind” It is a mental attitude, a choice, and in some instances a rewarding lifestyle. I also find it interesting that the synonyms are listed as, ” benevolence, boon, courtesy, grace, indulgence, favor, mercy, service, and turn.” I must argue that these are the qualities of a kind heart, and a patient loving soul. Again, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are not kind.
Love does not envy, boast, and is not proud. I am constantly reminded of how prideful some people are, or how some people envy what others have, still I see these same people boast about their things or accomplishments. This is especially troubling because any victory achieved without praising God for it is hollow. The words envy, boast, and proud are what the wicked do, this is the description of sin. Biblically speaking Satan fell from heaven because he was first prideful, he envied God, and second Satan boasted about how great he was, for his throne would be above Gods in Heaven. Pride and Envy makes up two of the original seven deadly sins wrote about by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century who took this list from Greek monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus (345-399). The saying, “Pride comes before a fall” is the most modern and clearest reference to the fall of Satan, the fall of one-third of all the angels in heaven, and the fall of mankind as found in Genesis. I also must warn everyone against being prideful, but the ear marks of a prideful person is found in how much they boast. There can never be love in an envious, prideful, and boastful heart because there is no room left for anything else, not even for God. Once again, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are envious, boastful, and prideful.
“46 Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” ~ Luke 20: 46-47
Love does not, “5 dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” In this I find our sin is shown to all for what it is, dishonorable, selfish, angry, and never forgiving. I have been told by some of my harshest detractors that this description would fit me nicely. But, then again they mistake my enthusiasm that I hold for God and His perfect love for something evil and vial. In this Jesus said to rejoice when others persecute you, so my voice on this subject is I hope very loud and very direct. People who go around blaming others all the time, seeking to destroy the love in their targets hearts, seeking to split families and make children chose between two parents they love is selfish, is dishonorable, is angry, and yes these people never forgive because their hearts have been hardened by Satan and influenced by his lies. I can truthfully testify to the world my walk with God is strengthened with each curse word thrown in my direction and makes me hold tighter to God’s hand and abide more in His perfect love, and this is how your own trials and tribulations should make you feel deep inside your heart of hearts. We are not here to judge others, but rather love one another. You cannot love your fellow man or women if your heart is wracked with selfishness. You cannot love others if everything you do is dishonorable. You cannot love people if your angry all the time. You cannot keep records of other peoples wrongs and be truly forgiving. God does not work that way, life in general does not work that way. I have always said that I enjoy everyone’s comments even if they do not agree with me, because my walk with God is different than your walk with God, and so in this we all must be tolerant with one another and celebrate our vast differences. Once more, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who are dishonorable, selfish, angry, and never forgiving. “1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” ~ Romans 2:1-4 NIV Bible “6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” The idea of telling the truth is a sacred obligation every human-being is born with. It is like a program written into your heart that which zaps you every time you lie. These zaps build up over time and leads to a weight so heaven upon your heart that it has been know to cause a plethora of anxieties that can be mortally fatal. One of the best examples of how we as a society have tried to reflect God in our laws is found within the need to make a person swear an oath in court before testifying. Sadly perjury or bearing false witness is not something we are very aggressive in prosecuting. On one hand we appear to be moral, but on the other hand we embrace the sin of testifying falsely as through our reluctance to stop it and punish it, therefore in God’s eyes man’s laws and processes found within our judicial system are nothing short of corrupt and filled with hypocrisy. The best example was in the trial of Jesus Christ, when the High Priest took testimony from people who where known liars.
“55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.” ~ Mark 14: 55-65 NIV Bible
Bearing false witness is a sin as it is breaking the eight commandment of God; “ 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” ~ Exodus 20:16 KJ 2000 Bible.
Each and every time I see this happen my heart hurts for those who are perpetrating this sin, moreover, my heart hurts for those who also instigate it from the innocent. For the Lord Jesus Christ also warned; “Obstacles to faith are sure to arise, but beware to the one who creates them. It would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around the neck than for that person to mislead one of my followers.” Q 76, The Lost Gospel Q.
Again pray, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who revel in their sin, who delight in evil, and for those who rebuke the truth.
God’s agape Love; “7 always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The placement of this verse is essential to bring home the true nature of God, His love, and the same message of Jesus. The seventh verse, in numerology is sacred, for the number seven is revered as being holy. The nature of God is a protecting one, it is God’s first line of defense in defending you against evil. God then builds trust within your heart, and your protective actions should also build trust in those you love and protect. God is filled with hope, evidence of this is that two thousand years after His son’s death and resurrection man-kind is still here, God still loves us, and He through His perfect love fills our hearts with hope. Thus, when you protect the ones you love, your trust in them spawns their trust in you. Hope is then poured to form the strongest foundation to all your relationships, again anchoring them upon God’s grace that naturally perseveres and blesses you and all those whom you love unconditionally. Love is patient, love is kind, love rejoices with the truth, love always protects, love always trusts, love always hopes, and love always perseveres, for this is what love is. Finally, God instructs us all to emulate Him and He knows we will fall short so we are also instructed to pray for those who do fall short and pray for those who try their very best to be protecting, trusting, hopeful, and always preserving with their love.
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ANNOUNCES TO THE COMMUNITY OF FOLLOWER, FRIENDS, AND SUBSCRIBERS;
In the spirit of charity and from the necessity to provide for all of Gods children, together in this mission, Listening Faithfully has teamed up with a wonderful charitable organization in East Texas whose name reflects their good works, “God’s Hand Ups” and their work is accomplished by a Godly motivation to help every children throughout their community. I am honored to have them as good friends in the Lord. I can testify before you all today, that my good friend who is a founding member of this charitable group has truly been tested in the manner described here in this blog posting and who has consistently passed this test of giving and working for the benefit of all in her community. I introduce you all to Tonia Allen, who currently has a wonderful new campaign in raising money for children in need. Please visit her donation site: “GOD’S HAND UPS NOT HAND OUTS ” and please be very charitable.
“Someone once told me that compassion was not simple. They believed compassion was huge. Compassion is SO simple as it is an act of kindness from one to another. It is only huge when it becomes over thought. God’s Hand Ups was founded by the vision of a 17 year old junior in high school who believed the world could be saved–“one person at a time.” ~ Tonia Allen, Gods Hands Up, 2013.
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